Modern Believing editorial October 2018

Editorial by Steven Shakespeare
from Modern Believing Vol 59:4 - October 2018

Poets often put things with a clarity that those who use supposedly ‘rigorous’ language can only dream of.

Academic theology and philosophy of religion has sometimes searched for a kind of systematic consistency; but it can come at the expense of those searing insights which refuse to be tamed by sterile concepts.

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The ‘pierless’ faith of Emily Dickinson

by Daniel Boscaljon
from Modern Believing Vol 59:4 - Oct 2018

Abstract:

Within Christian traditions, the philosophical tends to drown out the potentiality of the poetic as a mode of thinking theologically. This essay examines Emily Dickinson's approach to defining ‘faith’, in part because the resulting agnosticism is quite fascinating, and in part to make space for the possibility of expanding the margins of the liberal theological tradition. By incorporating the everyday and the unknown into her poems, and by emphasizing the unknowable instead of the definite, Dickinson provides her readers with an experience of faith that remains simultaneously within – and a challenge to – other forms of Christian liberal theology. 

Keywords:

AGNOSTICISM

BELIEF

CHRISTIANITY

EMILY DICKINSON

FAITH

IMMORTALITY

LIBERAL THEOLOGY

OPINION

PIERLESS FAITH

POETRY

RESACRALIZATION

SCENERY

SECULARIZATION

UNCERTAINTY


You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.

Review: Religion, Faith and the First World War

by Michael Brierley
from Modern Believing Vol 59:4 - Oct 2018

Abstract:

The author reviews nine books as evidence of the current religious and theological interest in the First World War, all published during the course of the present centenary. The nine books represent a range of aspects of faith during the First World War: six deal with the impact of the war on particular individuals; another is a new edition of a work of theology from 1918 by one of those individuals; one book, taking a general view, makes an overall assessment of the impact of the war on faith in Britain; and one is a more meditative reflection on how various issues raised by the war affect us today.

Keywords:

RELIGION

FAITH

FIRST WORLD WAR


You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.

Envisaging afterlife in light of the doctrine of divinization and the co-presence of the divine in and through all things

by Alan McGill
from Modern Believing Vol 59:4 - Oct 2018

Abstract:

This article considers the implications of divinization and divine co-presence for a Christian vision of afterlife. If the human dead can be incorporated by grace into the Godhead, and if God is co-present in and through all things, then the divinized dead may be sacramentally present in and through creation. This suggests a model of afterlife as a new form of engagement with the world rather than an escape from it.

Keywords:

AFTERLIFE

CO-PRESENCE

CREATION

DEATH

DIVINITY

DIVINIZATION

HEAVEN

KINGDOM OF GOD

PHYSICALITY

SACRAMENTAL UNIVERSE

THEOSIS

TRINITY


You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.

Books reviewed October 2018

from Modern Believing Vol 59:4 • previous edition
Life after Tragedy: Essays on Faith and the First World War Evoked by Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy
M. W. Brierley and G. A. Byrne, eds.
Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2017. Pp. xxiv, 254. Pb. $31.
ISBN 978-1-5326-0226-9.

Review by Stuart Bell, Durham University


Invisible Worlds: Death, Religion and the Supernatural in England, 1500–1700
P. Marshall, 
London: SPCK, 2017. Pp. viii, 260. Pb. £17.99.
ISBN 978-0-281-07522-5.

Review by Georgina Byrne, Worcester Cathedral 


Perfecting Perfection: Essays in Honour of Henry D. Rack.
R. J. Webster, ed., 
Cambridge: James Clarke and Co., 2016. Pp. xii, 297. Pb. £24.
ISBN 978-0-227-17588-0.

Review by Sarah Heaner Lancaster, Methodist Theological School in Ohio


God and Churchill: How the Great Leader’s Sense of Divine Destiny Changed His Troubled World and Offers Hope for Ours.
J. Sandys and W. Henley, 
London: SPCK, 2015. Pp. xxx, 268. Pb. £19.99.
ISBN 978-0-281-07527-0.

Review by Warren Dockter, Aberystwyth University 


Secularism: Politics, Religion, and Freedom.
A. J. W. Copson, 
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. x, 153. Hb. £12.99.
ISBN 978-0-19-880913-5.

Review by Grace Davie, University of Exeter 


Modernities, Memory and Mutations: Grace Davie and the Study of Religion.
A. F. Day and M. Lövheim, eds., 
Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2015. Pp. xvi, 255. Hb. £65.
ISBN 978-1-4724-3617-7.

Review by Martyn Percy, University of Oxford 


Fortress Britain? Ethical Approaches to Immigration Policy for a Post-Brexit Britain.
B. W. Ryan, ed.
London and Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018. Pp. 176. Pb. £16.99.
ISBN 978-1-78592-309-8.

Review by Nicholas Sagovsky, King’s College, London


Blessed Are the Poor? Urban Poverty and the Church.
L. A. Green, 
London: SCM Press, 2015. Pp. xviii, 218. Pb.
ISBN 978-0-334-05365-1.

Review by Angus Ritchie, Centre for Theology and Community, East London


Plundering Egypt: A Subversive Christian Ethic of Economy.
G. P. Wagenfuhr, 
Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2015. Pp. xiv, 257. Pb.
ISBN 978-0-7188-9468-9

Review by Eve Poole, Church Commissioners, London 


Inspired Sustainability: Planting Seeds for Action.
E. Lothes Biviano,
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2016. Pp. xxxiv, 286. Pb. £23.99.
ISBN 978-1-62698-163-8.

Review by Frances Ward, Mirfield 


Christianity and Religious Plurality, Studies in Church History 51.
C. M. Methuen, A. P. Spicer and J. R. Wolffe, eds.
Woodbridge and Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2015. Pp. xxiv, 454. Hb. £45.
ISBN 978-0-9546810-3-6.

Review by Michael Ipgrave, Diocese of Lichfield 


Jesus and Buddha: Friends in Conversation.
P. F. Knitter and R. Haight, 
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2015. Pp. xviii, 253. Pb. £17.99.
ISBN 978-1-62698-151-5.

Review by Ross Thompson, Mere, Wiltshire 


Playing with Leviathan: Interpretation and Reception of Monsters from the Biblical World.
K. van Bekkum, J. Dekker, H. R. van de Kamp and H. G. L. Peels, eds., 
Leiden: Brill, 2017. Pp. xxviii, 315. Pb.
ISBN 978-90-04-33795-4.

Review by Andrew Angel, Burgess Hill 


Paul and His Recent Interpreters: Some Contemporary Debates.
N. T. Wright, 
London: SPCK, 2015. Pp. xxiv, 379. Pb. £25.
ISBN 978-0-281-06758-9.

Review by Michael Lakey, Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford 


Traces of the Trinity: Signs of God in Creation and Human Experience.
P. J. Leithart, 
Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2015. Pp. x, 165. Pb. £10.99.
ISBN 978-1-58743-367-2.

Review by Andrew Robinson, University of Exeter


Systematic Theology.
A. C. Thiselton,
London: SPCK, 2015. Pp. xiv, 453. Pb.
ISBN 978-0-281-07330-6.

Review by Alexander D. Garton, University of Cambridge 


Philosophy of Religion: A Very Short Introduction.
T. J. Bayne,
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. xxii, 133. Pb. £7.99.
ISBN 978-0-19-875496-1.

Review by Keith Ward, University of Roehampton 


William Desmond and Contemporary Theology.
C. B. Simpson and B. T. Sammon, eds., 
Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2017. Pp. viii, 301. Hb. $50.
ISBN 978-0-268-10221-0.

Review by John Reader, Ironstone Benefice, William Temple Foundation and University of Worcester


The Problem of Evil.
D. Speak, 
Cambridge and Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2015. Pp. viii, 149. Pb. £15.99.
ISBN 978-0-7456-6407-1.

Review by Mark Hocknull, University of Lincoln 


Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: Rethinking the Things that Matter Most.
J. L. Walls, 
Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2015. Pp. 235. Pb. £12.99.
ISBN 978-1-58743-356-6.

Review by Robin Parry, Wipf and Stock Publishers, Eugene, OR 


Hope and the Longing for Utopia: Futures and Illusions in Theology and Narrative.
D. Boscaljon, ed., 
Cambridge: James Clarke and Co., 2015. Pp. xx, 239. Pb. £18.
ISBN 978-0-227-17505-7.

Review by Stefan Skrimshire, University of Leeds 


Science Fiction Theology: Beauty and the Transformation of the Sublime.
A. P. R. Gregory, 
Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2015. Pp. x, 318. Hb.
ISBN 978-1-60258-460-0.

Review by Stephen May, Worcester 


Reimagining Worship: Renewing Worship in a Changing Church.
A. M. de Lange, B. T. Lloyd, T. R. Stratford and I. D. Tarrant, eds.,
London: Canterbury Press, 2017. Pp. xiv, 273. Pb.
ISBN 978-1-84825-913-3.

Review by Bridget Nichols, Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Dublin 


Congregational Music-Making and Community in a Mediated Age.
A. E. Nekola and T. J. Wagner, eds., 
Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2015. Pp. xiv, 263. Hb. £65.
ISBN 978-1-4724-5919-0.

Review by June Boyce-Tillman, University of Winchester 


Sexuality, Struggle and Saintliness: Same-Sex Love and the Church.
S. Hensman, 
London: Ekklesia, 2015. Pp. xvi, 255. Pb.
ISBN 978-0-9932942-0-4.

Review by Alan Wilson, Diocese of Oxford 


Scars Across Humanity: Understanding and Overcoming Violence Against Women.
E. Storkey, 
London: SPCK, 2015. Pp. 320. Pb. £9.99.
ISBN 978-0-281-07508-9.

Review by Lesley Orr, University of Edinburgh 


Soft Shepherd or Almighty Pastor? Power and Pastoral Care.
A. Dillen, ed., 
Cambridge: James Clarke and Co., 2015. Pp. xx, 200. Pb. £16.50.
ISBN 978-0-227-17522-4.

Review by Margaret Whipp, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 


The Logic of the Spirit in Human Thought and Experience: Exploring the Vision of James E. Loder Jr.
D. R. Wright and K. J. White, eds., 
Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2015. Pp. xxvi, 357. Pb. £27.50
ISBN 978-0-7188-9378-1.

Review by Rebecca Nye, Open University, Milton Keynes 


The Resourceful Self: And a Little Child Shall Lead Them.
D. E. Capps, 
Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2015. Pp. xiv, 203. Pb. £16.50.
ISBN 978-0-7188-9390-3.

Review by Fiona Gardner, Bath 


Still Growing: The Creative Self in Older Adulthood.
D. E. Capps, 
Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2015. Pp. xviii, 190. Pb. £16.50.
ISBN 978-0-7188-9391-0.

Review by James Woodward, Sarum College, Salisbury, and University of Winchester 


Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness, 2nd edn.
K. E. Greene-McCreight,
Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2015. Pp. xxiv, 216. Pb. £12.99.
ISBN 978-1-58743-372-6.

Review by Julian Raffay, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool 


In the Fellowship of His Suffering: A Theological Interpretation of Mental Illness - A Focus on ‘Schizophrenia’.
E. Hessamfar, 
Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2015. Pp. xii, 375. Pb. £25.
ISBN 978-0-7188-9382-8.

Review by Christopher Cook, Durham University 


Psychological Perspectives on Religion and Religiosity.
B. Beit-Hallahmi, 
Hove and New York: Routledge, 2015. Pp. xii, 316. Pb. £34.99.
ISBN 978-0-415-68287-9.

Review by Laura G. E. Smith, University of Bath